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Magic Johnson HIV documentary premieres in downtown LA

March 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A film premiere was held in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday for a documentary about Magic Johnson's life with HIV.

Friends of the Los Angeles Lakers great, including comedian Arsenio Hall and singer Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, arrived at Regal Cinemas for the premiere of the ESPN Films documentary called "The announcement." It tells the story of Johnson's personal battle and his work to fight the AIDS epidemic.

It was in November 1991 that Johnson announced to the world that he was HIV positive. The basketball superstar retired from the Lakers and vowed to fight. Many people, however, felt his diagnosis was a death sentence.

"We only knew of people who died from AIDS, we didn't know people who lived with AIDS," Hall said. "Magic not only educated us, but he showed us the future of how the medical community would scoop us up and handle this situation."

Earlier in the day, the Magic Johnson Foundation and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation screened the film for hundreds of Los Angeles high school students. Johnson spoke on the dangers of HIV and AIDS.

"It can happen to you today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, if you make the wrong decision," Johnson said.